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We purchase our wines from licensed distributors and private wine collectors. In each case, we seek to purchase wines with excellent provenance.
Enjoyment of back vintage fine wine entails certain irreducible risks with regard to corked wine, wine failure due to natural aging (many wines that are more than 40 years old), oxidation of wine and wine spoilage due to improper storage. Corked wine results where cork selected by the vintner is infected with bacteria that imparts off odors in the wine. Oxidation of wine can occur due to many factors, including natural aging and vinification practices (overexposure to air during vinification, racking or bottling, sulphur dosage and other wine making issues). We cannot control cork selection, vinification practices or natural aging and most of our wine is not purchased from wineries, so we have no recourse when a wine presents with cork taint, is oxidized or has degraded due to natural aging. Accordingly, we do not accept returns of corked wine, oxidized wine or wines that have not performed due to natural aging.
Wine spoilage from improper storage occurs when wine is not stored in proper conditions with regard to temperature, humidity or both. Wine spoiled due to improper storage presents with cooked, burnt or vinegar flavors or with failed or leaking corks. We inspect for all indications of proper storage and provenance prior to purchasing wine. Our work includes inspecting private cellar conditions (including temperature control equipment), interviewing private collectors regarding the provenance and storage of their wine and on many occasions sampling the wines prior to purchase. We also inspect corks, capsules, fill level, color, clarity and label for indications of spoilage or poor storage. Whenever we believe there is any risk of failure in the wine due to improper storage we reject the wine – and if we see any indications of risk following our purchase of the wine, we do not sell them to our clients.
Due to our rigorous inspection standards, we guarantee every bottle of wine we sell, if the wine is spoiled due to improper storage conditions (other than deep discount wines). If you open a wine purchased from us within 30 days of the purchase date and the wine reveals signs of damage due to improper storage, we ask that you re-cork the bottle with the remaining wine inside and contact us immediately.
We do not take returns of wine in any form due to cork taint, oxidation or failure due to natural aging. We do not take returns in any form from wines purchased under Deep Discount or Scratch and Dent Wines.
We seek to price at the lowest price possible given our cost structure. Our pricing policy is to work to a target gross margin. We do not price to obtain the highest possible retail price per bottle. As a result of our pricing policy, we are among the lowest priced providers of high end back vintage wine in the United States. For many of our wines, we are the lowest available price among legitimate retailers in the U.S. on Wine Searcher.
Accordingly, we do not offer further discounts on our wines. Our Deep Discount section offers the best possible pricing on a wide variety of wines, including “scratch and dent” wines that should drink well, but have label or capsule damage.
Shipping costs can be calculated using the Federal Express calculator on our website. This establishes an approximate cost. To get the best shipping rate it makes sense to purchase in increments of 6 or 12 bottles.
Our minimum purchase for online ordering is $200 or 4 bottles.
The handling fee is a credit card processing fee. We are charged 3.2% whenever a purchaser uses a credit card. We charge back 2.6% to cover this cost. Our goal is to provide high quality back vintage wines at the lowest possible cost of purchase. We cannot meet that goal when 3.2% of the total cost (about 10% of our gross margin) is paid to a credit card company. Accordingly we seek to cover most of that cost or promote wire transfer to eliminate that cost to both our clients and ourselves.